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Shark-Infested Blogger


June 6, 2010 6:15 PM

Interview With Randy Hahn, Volume V

This was actually the third question I asked Randy Hahn in the interview, but I presented other questions for print first because of their increased importance...

Considering Ron Wilson was over .500 in the playoffs, had a 5-4 series record with a team millions under the salary cap, while (Todd) McLellan is under .500 with a 2-2 series record with one of the best teams in the league both years he's coached, do you think the seat on the bench is getting hot?

If you're a head coach in the NHL, I don't care what franchise you're with, the pressure's on all time. There's just different levels of achievement that are expected.

If you're the head coach of a team that didn't make the playoffs last year, then the expectation is to make the playoffs. If you're a coach that lost in the first round of the playoffs this year with a good team then next year, like in Washington, the expectation is they better get (further).

4075295367_db291597c4.jpgSo the pressure's gonna be there, just like the pressure was on Todd after last year after getting knocked out by the eighth seed--that better not happen again.

And it didn't. They won in round one, won in round two. They got over a big organisational hurdle beating Detroit, his former franchise. He beat the coach that he worked for in Mike Babcock. And so you know I think there was uh, a level of achievement that Todd gained in his second year, that he's looked upon favourably for (doing).

But the expectation of the franchise is to win a Stanley Cup. So no coach is going to be pleased as a Sharks employee until he wins a Stanley Cup.

That doesn't mean he can't achieve accomplishments along the way. And Todd's done that in the two years. He's established himself: He was a coach of the year candidate in the first year, and this year he took his team to the third round.

The pressure is inherent, and the coach is part of that pressure. But at some point, too, it's not all about coaching. You know he can't make saves and he can't score goals. 

That's not to say that he's not a big part of what's going on, and absolutely there'll be pressure on Todd McLellan next year. But that would have been the case whether the Sharks would have gone to the Stanley Cup Final and lost: The pressure would have still been there to try and win a Stanley Cup, and that's what the franchise has put above everything.

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